After four rounds of Super Rugby AU, a number of last year’s history-making Junior Wallabies squad have stood up and made their presence known on the national stage.
With the competition pitting the next generation of Australian talent against the incumbent Wallabies, one of the competition’s standouts has been last years under-20s captain, Fraser McReight.
The flanker starred in the first three matches of the Australian-only competition for the Reds, currently topping the charts for turnovers won, with six, despite last weekend’s bye.
The two-time Australian under-20s player of the year is pleased with how he’s performed since the COVID break, but admitted that there’s still plenty of work to be done within his game.
“Obviously it’s a lot different starting than coming off the bench. Actually getting a full 80-minutes to test yourself against fresh players and grow your game and learn about your game is something I’ve done,” McReight told RugbyPass.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement but I’ve been pretty happy in terms of what I’ve done and what I’ve added to the team so far.
“I haven’t really solidified my position yet but that’s something that I definitely want to do.”
McReight became the 1338th player to represent his state after coming off the bench in March of 2019, but had to wait until round one of Super Rugby AU against the Waratahs to make his starting debut.
Lining up against Michael Hooper, the 21-year-old won four turnovers for his side including a vital penalty at the breakdown late in the match that all but secured the historic victory.
While his starting debut drew plenty of attention from fans and pundits, he said that he felt comfortable just playing his game against some of rugby’s best.
“I worked really hard during the COVID break and during the preseason, so I was ready to handle whatever the Waratahs threw at me and threw at us.
“Going up against the Wallabies captain, it was pretty special, to be honest, but I was just trying to do my job and do it as best as I could.”
McReight’s elite work rate and his leadership is nothing new to those who saw the flanker impress for Brisbane Grammar in Brisbane’s GPS high school competition, and representative sides including the Junior Wallabies.
After playing for the Australian under-20s in 2018, McReight was named as captain for his second spell with the squad last year.
He led the Junior Wallabies to their first Oceania under-20s title on the Gold Coast, which included a momentous 24-0 victory over New Zealand.
McReight ended all hopes of a miracle Baby Blacks…